FORT MYERS, Fla. (WTVA/MLB) - The Minnesota Twins have named former Southern Miss Golden Eagle Brian Dozier as the team's starting second baseman. The Minneapolis Star Tribune was the first to report that the second-year infielder will be a starter in 2013.
After an up-and-down rookie campaign that saw the former Golden Eagle demoted to Triple-A, Dozier focused on switching from playing shortstop to playing second base.
The offseason work appears to have paid off, as Dozier will now start the 2013 season in the starting lineup for the Twins as the team's everyday second baseman.
In an interview with MLB.com, Minnesota manager Rod Gardenhire was asked if he felt his club's struggling defensive play would improve in 2013:
"Yeah, with Morneau at first, and [Brian] Dozier and [Pedro] Florimon in there, with [Jamey] Carroll and [Eduardo] Escobar behind them," Gardenhire said.
As a rookie in 2012, the Fulton-native hit .234 with 6 home runs, 33 runs scored and 33 RBI. This spring, Dozier is hitting .276 with 2 home runs, 8 RBI and 10 runs scored.
The Twins open the 2013 regular season on Monday against Detroit.